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Catherine Mumaw
(Died July 17, 2014)

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Catherine Mumaw

In Memoriam
Catherine Ruth Mumaw, of Harrisonburg, VA died July 17, 2014 at her home. She was born July 22, 1932 in Harrisonburg, the daughter of the late John R. and Esther Mosemann Mumaw. She grew up in the Park View area and attended Park School and Eastern Mennonite School and College.

She earned a B.S. degree in Home Economics from Eastern Mennonite College, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Family Resource Management from Penn State University. Her doctoral program was supported with a General Foods Fund Fellowship.

Her professional career included teaching positions at Lancaster Mennonite School, PA; Eastern Mennonite College (University), VA; Goshen College (IN); and Oregon State University (OR). She also directed transcultural programs in Jamaica for home economics students. After her retirement she volunteered as an education advisor to Kathmandu University in Nepal.

She was a loyal and contributing member of the American Home Economics Association (now American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences) and of the state affiliates where she lived (VA, IN, OR). She joined the International Federation for Home Economics in 1967 and was active in leadership roles on the Executive Committee and a program committee. She was also a member of the AAUW and Women in Development organizations.

She was honored with memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Nu, and The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Other honors included 1985 IHEA Leader Award by the Indiana Home Economics Association, the 1992 Family and Consumer Scientist in Community Service Award by the Oregon FACS, the 1994 Distinguished Faculty Award by the Oregon State Home Economics Alumni Association, and the Alumna of the Year Award 2006 by Eastern Mennonite University.

She was a lifelong member of the Mennonite Church. Locally she attended Harrisonburg Mennonite Church and was an active member of the Open Circle S.S. class. She served as a board member for Mennonite Mutual Aid (now Everence); Mennonite Economic Development Associates; Mennonite Community Association; and many Mennonite church committees. She also served on the boards of Indiana Partners of the Americas: Rio Grande do Sol; Corvallis-Uzhhorod Sister Cities Association; and Solar Cookers International.

Her hobby as a musician included the role of Choral Director of the ladies’ sextet and triple trio for the Mennonite Hour Broadcasts; of EMC Ladies’ Chorus; and RMH Nurses’ Glee Club. She sang in many choirs, including the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, Eugene Chamber Singers, The Camerata Singers, Goshen Community Chorus, and The Kathmandu Chorale. Other hobbies included photography and travel to foreign destinations, including over 40 countries and all continents.

On October 14, 2005 she married Clair L. Basinger, who survives. She is also survived by four step-daughters, Eileen Smith of Waynesboro, VA.; Carolyn (Al) Wheeler of Stuarts Draft, VA.; Darlene (Dan) Harman of Weyers Cave, VA.; and Debbie (Glenn) Bollinger of Bridgewater, VA.; nine step-grandchildren: Tracy (Jennifer) Smith, Tonya (Merle) Swarey, Rhonda Scott Fitzgerald (Dusty), Ryan (Darby) Deming, Renee (Jason) Miller, Nathan and Zachary Harman, Andrew and Joshua Bollinger; thirteen step-great-grandchildren: Levi, Jeremy, Aaron, Daniel and Joshua Smith, Seth Swarey, Dakota and Delanie Miller, Tyler Scott, Kolby Powell, Dakota Boyers, Cheyenne and Montana Deming.

Three sisters survive: Grace Mumaw, Harrisonburg; Lois (Emanuel) Martin, Harrisonburg; and Miriam Mumaw, Arlington, VA. She was preceded in death by a sister, Helen (Laban) Peachey and a step-son-in-law, Cleo Smith. Three nieces and three nephews survive with their families, as well as numerous cousins and friends.

A service of celebration will be held at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 1:30pm. A private burial will take place at the Lindale Mennonite Church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501-0500 or to Eastern Mennonite University for the Catherine R. Mumaw Endowed Scholarship Fund (for international students), 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Online condolences may be made to the family at


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